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Kcall07 said:

Besides these cards can actually be quite fun - the tension of taking a shadow effect you know you can't block, or having an easy victory snatched from you at the last minute only to claw it back with your one, heavily wounded, remaining hero. 

Let me give an example:

Well, at least in the Ithilien scenario you start out with enemies (one for each player) dealing 5 base damage. Shadow cards will add up to 3 additional damage to that (up to 4 in a four player game). There's also a shadow effect dealing 1 damage to the defender that cannot be soaked. In addition there's both an enemy that gets an extra attack from the staging area and a shadow effect granting an additional attack.

Effectively this means you cannot ever dare to defend with a hero (except Frodo or - once - Beorn) or an ally with only 1 hit point. So you either must have two allies that can soak 2 damage in reserve or a cards that allow you to prevent an enemy from attacking.

The majority of cards in the deck are enemies and almost all of the Treachery cards have surge which usually means you need to have a second defender ready.

And because the Path to Ithilien is the active location, all of these enemies will attack right away, unless you quest successfully and can accumulate at least four tokens. And this is frankly a gamble and will require luck.

If one of your heroes is killed in this initial assault you might as well start over. It may not be an instant game over, but you'll lose nonetheless. You can draw out the game but you will never win it.

In my nine games this only worked in two of the three easy-mode games and in none of the 'normal difficulty' ones.

Clawing your way back to win with a single hero can only work late in the game after you've already assembled a sizeable band of allies.


Alright, and now I'm ready for the flood of replies telling me how I'm totally wrong, not skilled enough and have been using crap decks. Shoot away! sonreir

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Not at all, you're quite right. However I think it's best to see Into Ithillien as something of an anomaly. There was a long thread when it came out suggesting its difficulty was an oversight by the developers, and a correction has been made since to blocking wargs in the FAQ.

The quest before and after are far better balanced. Me and my play partner were quite surprised when we got to Cair Andros and beat it in a couple of tries (with our excruciatingly honed decks from Ithillien.) I have a feeling the variable difficulties in this cycle will be much more manageable. And from the looks of the previews we'll be getting some great new player cards which will make dispatching the Mumakil all the easier.

That is, until the nightmare version comes out. ;)

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TragicTheBlathering said:

it is not an anomaly.. it is a clear progression.


I think it is an anomaly, it's definitely a lot harder than the designers thought. (Since they say it's a 4?!) I think they thought it was an easy scenario and that therefore HoN wasn't that bad (one easy, one medium, one hard) but actually Into Ithilian is so hard that Cair Andros ends up being the medium.


Which means that instead of getting a 4 and 6 and an 8 (the 6 and and 8 are from memory), we got a 6 an 8 and a 10.


This is an anomolgy because generaly speaking the "easy" quests (4's and the like) haven't been very challanging at all,but this time it clearly is. 

Personally I think the difficulties concept should be scrapped though, they're not very accurate (although into Ithilien is clearly the least accurate).

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